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September 2023 (G.T.) – The destination, North Cape, is one of the most sought after and frequented by motorcyclists. It is one of those journeys, as demanding as it is thrilling, which is a must-do at least once in your life. But there is someone who has turned it into a true undertaking. Why? Because a highly experienced biker – Ciro Nisi – did it astride his 1925 Moto Guzzi Sport! A lively vintage beauty at the amazing age of 98! Both extraordinary.

Moto Guzzi Sport; remembering the Raid to North Cape (Norway) carried out by Giuseppe Guzzi (brother of Carlo Guzzi, one of the founders of the eagle brand) in 1928, riding the Moto Guzzi GT 500 Norge (named after the Italian airship that flew over the North Pole in 1927). Giuseppe Guzzi traveled for over six thousand kilometres, until he reached the Arctic Circle; an astonishing feat on the streets of the time, and the news was featured in newspapers throughout Europe and beyond.

We received the Guzzista’s email in early August, just after his most recent big adventure. Ciro Nisi, born in 1965, writes, “I’d like to share my most recent experience with you. On 6 July 2023, astride my 1925 Moto Guzzi Sport, I embarked, alone, on a journey from Milan to North Cape and back. This is my umpteenth motorcycle adventure Mandello and, on the way back, I stopped in front of the Moto Guzzi plant in Mandello del Lario.”

The 1925 Moto Guzzi Sport in front of the Mandello del Lario Moto Guzzi factory entrance. Photo by Ciro Nisi.

The ride in a nutshell: journey duration from 6 to 30 July 2023, 7,400 km travelled, around 300 litres of petrol consumed, the longest leg was 540 km and lasted 10 hours and 15 minutes, 1 oil change, 2 top-ups, 1 spray can of grease for the chain, 8 hours a day. Happiness: on a scale of 1 to 10? 12!
Guzzista biker Ciro Nisi recounts, “An adventure which began to celebrate reaching pension age, transformed into a self-taught life lesson. I had already crossed the United States with her - my Guzzi - from Daytona Beach to Seattle in 2014 and, not yet satisfied, she had accompanied me on many alpine passes, Gavia, Stelvio, Bernina, Vivione, Maloja, etc., as well as on various trips back and form from Rimini! But this was the undertaking with a capital ‘U’, alone, just the two of us, and a history to defend, of a company that I - and my father before me - treasure in our hearts.

Photos by Ciro Nisi.

I travelled 7,400 km for 24 days astride my trusty 1925 Guzzi! I saw incredible scenery, never-ending days, lakes, fjords, flowers and scents of the north, and wild nature that welcomes you with its colours. I saw faces of long-distance travellers, I saw the happiness written on the chilly faces of those who had been in the saddle for a long time, just to be there, to see the nothingness beyond that sphere, as if the physical border had stopped at that point but our minds had not - they had gone beyond! One arrives at the point of wondering exactly what one would be capable of without posts or borders. I saw the incredulity of people looking at my vehicle which had come so far and which was so old, alongside others of recent construction. I saw Guzzisti rejoice at seeing that ‘grandmother’ demonstrate the tenacity of these vehicles, today like yesterday. I saw mankind’s ability to reach destinations after days and days of struggles. I met a host of people - a true community - motorcyclists!

Photos by Ciro Nisi.

I am extremely happy with the performance of my baby (Guzzi), untiring in a land where ups and downs are the norm, the way she passes time and the route with her rhythms were made clear on several occasions, to humans and others, reindeer, foxes, and various other species of animals. Honningsvåg was spectacular, with its lifeblood that sinks its roots into the sea, that sea that gives and takes in a tacit agreement which is the balance of life. The underwater tunnel that leads to the island was incredible with its rough walls, almost to demonstrate the struggles of those who had worked on them. And then - then, the return! A section of the E6 motorway and its fjords, then off to Sweden and the E45, a see-saw into nothingness and, unfortunately, 8 days of rain, with my baby turned into a canoe! She was undaunted, following her road all the way home, including one final struggle, once again the Spluga and the ritual visit (well-deserved, after all) to Mandello del Lario and Moto Guzzi! There, where everything began and, 100 years later, it is still not over - to the contrary, it continues!Well done! For the undertaking and thank you for the affection demonstrated, passed down from father to son, for the ultra-Italian Eagle brand, which continues to soar since 1921.

Photos by Ciro Nisi.

But curiosity drives us to ask Ciro Nisi, “Why did you choose this vintage bike? Was it inherited or purchased?”
“I've been a vintage motorbike collector for over 30 years. I am extremely passionate about vintage vehicles and over the years I have managed to find several, including some Moto Guzzis.”
Have you been a Guzzi enthusiast for a long time?
“I have always been an enthusiast. My first Moto Guzzi was a Custom 350 V35, purchased way back in 1986. My collection includes various Guzzi vehicles, all repaired by yours truly, functional, restored, and preserved, such as a Sport 15, Sport 15 2VT, V500 ‘due tubi’, GTS and others.”

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What other motorbike rides have you done? With your Moto Guzzis or even with other bikes?
“I’ve participated in many events, both with Guzzi and with other bikes, all vintages. I’ll mention a few of the more sensational ones: in 2014, Motorcycle Cannonball, United States, from Daytona Beach to Seattle with a 1925 Guzzi Sport (the same one as my recent trip to North Cape), in 2016, Motorcycle Cannonball, United States, from Atlantic City to San Diego with a 1912 Indian, in 2018, Motorcycle Cannonball, United States, from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon, with a 1919 Harley. As well as various events organised by the Rimini Motorcycle Museum and various ASI Clubs. And this year, in Mandello del Lario, I participated in the starting of the engines with a 1924 Sarolea, which boasts a glorious competitive past.”
2023 Starting of the Engines event in Mandello:
Your next adventures?
“For my next trips - of course with my vintage vehicles - I’d like to move eastward, but everything is still to be determined.”
Last, but not least, which model in the current Moto Guzzi range do you find most attractive?
Of the new bikes, the model that I would like to have now is the V85 TT. I encountered several people with this bike on my trip and they were truly satisfied.”
And Ciro Nisi gives our readers a look at the travel diary, leg by leg, of his journey to Cape North. Thank you!


First leg, Brugherio-Ulm: departed at 5:45, went up 36 all the way to the Spluga Pass. It seemed like deep winter, cold and fog. Went down to Liechtenstein, bought visa sticker (never spent €42 in my life for a sticker - what the hell!), crossed over a small slice of Austria and then off towards Ulm, 450 km without problems.
Second leg, Ulm–Göttingen: departed at 6 in the morning, all good for the first 100 km and then I heard a strange noise, completely ground up the rear wheel flexible coupling. Limped into Göttingen and repaired the bike constructing a flexible coupling out of a rubber mallet! 445 km.
Third leg, Göttingen–Kiel: departed at 6 in the morning. After 50 km had to leave the motorway - closed - after wandering for 50 km through the German hillside, got back on the motorway towards Kiel at 15:15 in time for the ticket and 365 km + picnic outing. Funny thing: the sun goes down at 22:00 and at 4:30 it is already extremely light out.
Fourth leg, Gothenburg-Vasteras: departed as soon as I disembarked from the ferry, at 10:30, headed north-east, at 375 km something seemed odd on the bike, I think maybe the head gasket, but after a quick check, I realised that’s not the problem. Arrived in Vasteras at a campground and immediately heard a friendly voice - a young man speaking with his son in Italian. Asked him for some information and, after completing the check-in, he came over to tell me that he had lived there for some time now and will not return to Italy. He is comfortable there, says he has relatives who collect bikes in Turin and it seems like I know him. We chatted for a bit and then he said goodbye and went home. To be honest, the bungalow seemed more like a closet and showers and bathrooms are shared, I fight with the showers until I manage to actually have one. Dinner is the meat skewers purchased along the trip, after which I take a stroll on the beach of the lake, the water is clay-brown in colour, impossible to see the bottom! I return to my closet ... tomorrow is a long leg.
Fifth leg, Vasteras-Sundsvall: after many km 350, immersed in the Swedish woods, I arrive in Sundsvall decidedly worn out. After cutting through all the red tape for my bed, I leave the bike in a paid underground car park and have a shower before visiting the city and, like a Japanese tourist in Milan, I'm unable to lower my gaze. A spectacular city which is truly interesting and full of life. I go back and have dinner with what I purchased in a supermarket nearby, now off to bed. Tomorrow is another difficult leg.
Sixth leg, Sundsvall-Skellefteå 398 km: Extremely long and difficult leg. The problem with the bike is back, this time more serious, so I decide to disassemble the head and find a problem difficult to solve. I opt for a quick fix to go to Tornio (Finland) and in the meantime request air shipment of a piece to be replaced later, even though that piece was new.
Seventh leg, Skellefteå-Tornio km 265: a leg light on mileage, I depart at 7:45 on the e4 and arrive in Tornio, Finland at 14:00 in spite of taking a wrong turn and I arrive at a hostel in good condition, very large room with 2 beds at the seashore, but a pity about the distance from the inhabited centre and shops.
Eighth leg, Tornio-Rovaniemi: a transfer leg, I dare say, because the bike needs care and I’ll stop for a few days to look after it, 125 km all in pouring rain, extremely tiring and my memories return to the cursed Cannonball 2016 leg where, for 130 miles, I was in a storm with a bike that is little more than a bicycle. In any case, I arrive and now, before St. Nick’s village, rest and maintenance!


Photos by Ciro Nisi.

Ninth leg, Rovaniemi-Enontekiö km 306: a leg in no man’s land, km on a road that gets narrower and narrower and increasingly more deserted, where I begin to see reindeer frolic along the road like coach service, I have to take care not to hit one. After the repair, this leg is perhaps a bit risky. If something were to break now, I’d risk being stranded along the road for a long time, but that’s the way it is - sooner or later, you have to take a gamble! A storm along the trip, water in buckets, like in Milan. I arrive, this too has come to an end.
Tenth leg, Enontekiö-Honningsvåg km 416: Yesterday evening, I decided to change leg. It was supposed to be Enontekiö-Alta, but I want to try to arrive directly in Honningsvåg. This would allow me to shave a day off my timetable. The first section all on a model Southern Italian rainy country road, wind and temperature of 4-5°C, it was extremely difficul! I stop in Alta to refuel and realise that I'm unable to stop my hands from shaking. The cold has penetrated to the bone. I decide to have a cup of coffee (calling it coffee is more than optimistic) and a pastry. In the meantime, I notice a friendly number plate, a pair of Italian motorcyclists. They tell me that they have been in Norway for a bit, but they had a lot of rain for entire days. This validates my stop in Rovaniemi. Back on the road, the final 200 and I arrive in Honningsvåg. Constant uphill/downhill, my poor old lady! On the scenic road, a spectacle of fjords and the beach below, what I defined as sea reindeer,the contrast between the animals and the place is stark but perhaps only for those of us who relegate them to winter gift transporters. And finally, the undersea tunnel! I hadn’t imagined it as a dizzying descent to then ascend steeply, but there, opening up before me, was the small city - spectacular!
Eleventh leg, Honningsvåg-North Cape: The leg begins at 4 in the morning, local time. I am awake and anxious. Years dreaming of this moment and I'm here. I can’t sleep and this morning I’ll ride those 34 km that separate me from the destination. I have a huge breakfast and then I set out. It’s 8:30 and I begin to ascend, so the temperature consequently drops - the fog rolls in 25 km later! I think the temperature is no higher than 3°C. At the entrance, a gorgeous girl tears off the ticket and says to me, in Italian, ‘Where are you arriving from?’ And I say, ‘But... you’re Italian!’ ‘Of course - from Vicenza!’ The ice is broken and we chat for a bit. Then I ask her if I can take a photo of the baby under the globe. She answers, regretfully, that it is illegal and that I could be fined. There are co-workers who keep an eye on it. I nod and leave, but my stubbornness is world-renowned, so I wriggle through the rocks set up as a barrier and go to take the photos as quickly as I can. A guard arrives and tells me to take the bike to the car park. In the meantime, other motorcyclists arrive. The funny thing is to see their faces, at first enthusiastic for what they have defined as an undertaking, then turning into a perplexed expression at such an old bike parked there, and the usual question, ‘Where did you come from?’ Upon hearing the reply, ‘Italy’, the second question is, ‘with this?’ Yes! And from there, pats on the back, photographs, and compliments. After some photos and the beginning of frostbite, I get back on the road to Alta, but for some reason unbeknownst to me, I take a wrong turn and, instead of 240 km, I ride 340! On well, I arrived anyway.

Photos by Ciro Nisi.

Twelfth leg, Honningsvåg-Alta: after being under the globe, I set out again. The return trip begins and, after a tremendous wrong turn that costs me 100 km, I arrive at the hotel in Alta, very nice and cosy. At the reception, to my astonishment, an Italian girl from Padua. I have dinner in the adjacent restaurant where the pizza chef is a young Italian man... finally a pizza worthy of the name!
Thirteenth leg, Alta-Skibotn: I depart around 8:30, it’s Saturday and there isn’t much traffic. I get on the scenic E6 and ride alongside the fjords, but a whole series of roadwork with sharp stone roads and stop lights for the detour convince me that there is no use insisting. The bike isn’t running the way I’d like it to and a slash to the tyres would bring the trip to a tragic end. At a certain point, 40 km from Skibotn, I decide to stop at a campground. I need to check the bike. After an initial check, I notice that the sleeve done previously in Rovaniemi is no longer there. The valve jolts and doesn’t close. After asking the campground owner if he knows someone with a lathe, after several telephone calls, I'm told that until Monday there is no chance. So, I decide to intervene however I can and, with some sheet metal, sandpaper, a saw, and a pair of pliers, I make a handcrafted bushing. Tomorrow I’ll risk it.
Fourteenth leg, Birtavarre Camping-Gällivare km 402: at 7 I throw a leg over the bike and depart. I decided to leave the E6 which is a route with obstacles, and I take the E8 towards Sweden. I wasn't entirely certain I’d make it and I wondered how long the naive repair would hold. After all, the E8 is an extremely difficult and hilly road and, as if that weren't enough, there was plenty of cold and rain! But the Guzzi made it. She arrived at the leg destination brilliantly.

Photo by Ciro Nisi.

Fifteenth leg, Gällivare-Arvidsjaur km 248: I depart in the rain, the bike behaves, but I'm not happy with the leg, medium mileage, not to my liking, so I begin to play with the mad idea of going all the way to Dorotea - yes! Today we make history! I’ll keep going! By doing this, it turns into a 520 km leg (!). I arrive in the rain, unpleasant company, at 17:30 - applause for the Guzzi!
Sixteenth leg, Dorotea-Sveg km 354: today I also depart with uncertain weather that turns into rain straight away - I'm tired of it! I'm practically always wearing my rain gear. The road - the famous E45 - is basically a ribbon of asphalt in the middle of nowhere with constant uphills and downhills that put the small engine to the test but, in the end, I arrive without problems, thanks to the Guzzi.
Seventeenth leg, Sveg-Grums km 385: by now I wake up, as usual, at 4 and I can’t sleep any more. I decide to see if I’ll have some respite from the rain today, but it is even worse than the previous days. Heavy rain that just doesn't want to stop falling. For the umpteenth time, I put on my rain gear. However, I saw the forecast and it should stop at around 70-80 km... but that turned into 200! It’s crazy rain and cold, but I hang tough and even manage to take off the rain gear for the last 20 km... hooray! She, the bike, performs well as always - can’t say anything bad about her!
Eighteenth leg, Grums-Gothenburg km 227: I departed in the pouring rain, I refuel straight away and head towards Gothenburg. My back is aching and the bike also seems a bit tired, but she always starts right up - amazing! A pity that out of 227 km, we were in the rain for at least 180 km!
Nineteenth leg, Kiel-Göttingen km 359: I disembarked from the ferry rather late and departed at around 10:00. I had to refuel and I almost ran out. I had to go back 200 metres pushing the bike to fill up. I get back on the road and in Hamburg I run into the first traffic jam with mad queues, just after a mega storm and buckets of water. At 5 km from the end of the leg, a huge boom and the bike cuts off. I check and I had lost the tappet cover! I manage to block the sprocket and finish the leg.
Twentieth leg, Göttingen-Langenau km 406: it started off in the worst possible way with rain straight away for almost 200 km and, to make matters worse, it was raining so hard that I didn't see the signs and took a wrong turn! So the km turned into 546! It’s 21:45, I'm extremely tired and I’ll be asleep soon. Tomorrow, my baby and I will tackle the final leg, and the cherry on top - the Spluga Pass. Fingers crossed - that bike deserves a triumphant entrance into Italy!
Twenty-first leg, Langenau- Brugherio km 440: I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is look to see if it’s raining - it isn’t! It seems to be fair weather. Maybe the final leg will be lit by a sun that was too often truant. After breakfast, the usual check and chain lube, rocker, and valve guide. Time to go! We're off! I head out on motorway 7 south, but after 150 km, here comes the rain! I had been missing it! I enter Austria and Liechtenstein right afterwards, headed towards the Spluga Pass. I didn’t remember the motorway that leads to the foot of the pass being so steep, but I keep calm and arrive. I stop to let the engine cool and take advantage of the break to purchase a snack. In the meantime, a motorcyclist approaches and we spend an hour talking, but then it’s time to go! At a swift pace, we climb towards the top. I don’t want to force her, the poor thing has already given so much, but she does this too, to the amazement of many, and then I head off, as promised, to take my baby to see her mama, Mandello del Lario. Ritual photo in front of the red gate and now we’re homeward bound. An hour and a half and I'm home after an incredible adventure and 7,400 km alone! Now we need a tune up........and perhaps a new project!”

Photo by Ciro Nisi.
In the background photos: Latitude NordKapp, Norway; “Midnight Sun at Cape North”, Gianni Cioffo.